Monday, 26 April 2010

London Marathon 2010

If it’s Monday morning and my voice is croaky it must be the day after the Marathon. It is a slightly surreal experience being on a crowded Northern Line at 8am on a Sunday morning – pretty surreal being anywhere at 8am on a Sunday morning. There was a mixture of runners, family and friends – one runner-to-be was already wrapped in the foil blanket which is given out at the end of the race which only added to the surreal-ness!

We had three groups of staff and volunteers at the race – some were moving between cheering points as the race moved on but I was stationed with colleagues at Mudchute (Mile 17). The moment when the first wheelchair racers come through – you know it is “game on”. It is one thing watching this on TV and another close up – to see how flimsy those wheelchairs look and how much human power is required is very humbling.

The elite runners and club runners come through singly or in small groups and then the mass of the so-called fun runners come through and keep coming through. I don’t know why they are called “fun-runners” as there is nothing fun about it. The weeks and months of training and then so many of them also raise money – lots of money.

The challenge as a supporter is to spot the runner, call their name loudly enough (lots of accompanying noise as well) so that they see you are there and get that little extra bit of encouragement. Mile 17 is a tough place too and some of the pain was evident.

Our runners all did amazingly well, our fastest was Vito who finished in an incredible 02:58:27 and the amazing Diana with her two new hips was still smiling at mile 25 and went on to finish in 07:10:16. I am sure Diana won’t mind my saying - she celebrated her 76th birthday the day before her eighth London Marathon and only took up running after having had breast cancer.

Amazing people doing amazing things!

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